US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reassured Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Monday that the United States would forge ahead with plans to expand economic assistance despite anti-American protests that cast new shadows over US engagement with the region.
A US official said that the two spoke Monday night at a New York hotel about the importance of ensuring the security of US diplomatic offices. Morsi stressed that embassy security was Egypt's duty.
- 'Israel will allow Egyptian planes to patrol border'
- Egyptian official threatens Israel over Sinai
- Morsi: US must help build Palestinian state
"What he heard from the secretary is that she is committed to following through on what she has said we will do," the official said following the 45-minute meeting.
Clinton and Morsi also spoke about improving security in the Sinai Peninsula near Israel's border and helping the Egyptian economy.
Clinton and Morsi (Photo: AFP)
Clinton reportedly urged the Islamist president to "improve ties" with Israel. Egypt's new regime has pledged to honor all of Cairo's international agreements, but some in the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government have been calling for the 1979 peace treaty with Israel to be revisited.
A senior State Department official later said that the matter of the peace treaty with Israel was discussed, and the Morsi stressed that Egypt intends to uphold it.
Last week it was reported that the anti-American protests over a film deemed offensive to Islam, which started in Cairo and spread across the Muslim world, have prompted the US suspend its aid to Egypt.
According to the report, Egypt's "clumsy response" to the storming of the US Embassy in Cairo has resulted in the US temporarily halting talks about a proposed $1 billion in debt relief.
Yitzhak Benhorin in Washington, AP and Reuters contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop